It's Kawhi time: ESPN predicts Leonard to be NBA MVP

ESPN.com formula chooses Leonard over Westbrook, Harden, Davis

By Caroline Wright - Sports Producer
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(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

SAN ANTONIO - With the NBA season right around the corner the race for the championship and the cherished MVP title will officially begin.

ESPN.com used their own formula to decide who the top contenders are for this season and Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard finished on top, over both Russell Westbrook and James Harden among 17 others. New Orleans power forward Anthony Davis finishes second.

The formula included:

  • Player’s age
  • Average points per game
  • Player’s efficiency rating
  • How many All-Star games they’ve been to
  • What draft pick they were (No. 15 or higher)
  • Rank in previous years MVP voting (Finishing in the top four the year before)
  • Where their team is ranked
  • More individual stats
  • Fan votes
  • No splitting of team votes, meaning there has to be one MVP candidate per team

With the above criteria taken into consideration, Leonard has the most boxes checked off (eight of nine) meaning he is ESPN’s choice for the 2017-18 NBA MVP. 

Last season Leonard finished with a player efficiency rating of 27.6. He averaged 25.5 points per game, and finished in third place in the 2016-17 NBA MVP race.

The Spurs season tips off next Wednesday against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Will ESPN’s prediction stand true? Is it Kawhi’s time? 

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